Here’s a few things I have learned while sitting in fields waiting for my camera to finish working for me.
8 tips for shooting SLR time lapses
1) Put your camera on full manual – otherwise the still will flicker from one to the next.
2) Try to pick objects that are still, or are far away enough that they won’t be overly distracting (trees are great in the background, but tend to look bad in the foreground because they move so much.)
3) Set your camera to a fixed iso – mine was on auto iso (even in manual mode) and it took me a while to really figure that out.
4) Sometimes you will have to make concessions for the brightness / amount of motion blur issue. Either get more light, a faster lens, or a more realistic view of what is possible.
5) Set your camera to be as energy efficient as possible. Turn the auto preview off, and turn the auto focus off (after focusing) It is uncanny how much power holding the mirror up takes. If you are planning on shooting all night you’re going to need to be running efficient.
6) USE A TRIPOD. period. or a magic arm. or glue. I was initially motivated to just set it down on something and forget it, but that didn’t work out so well…
7) regardless of if you use an intervalometer, shoot tethered to your computer, or manually use a remote – you must set it up so that you won’t be touching the camera. Even on a locked down camera the shutter button can make weird camera shifts a big problem.
8) anticipate the lighting conditions. If it’s before high noon – it’s probably going to get brighter. Sunset is only getting dimmer. If you want it to look good you will have to possibly mis expose a bit at the start so that you can get the entire range of your fixed setting.